The World Premiere of the latest DC Animated feature film Wonder Woman: Bloodlines took place during Friday of NYCC weekend. Following the screening, publicist and moderator Gary Miereanu took the stage sporting a Wonder Woman jersey and introduced the panel consisting of voice performers Rosario Dawson (Wonder Woman/Diana), Marie Avgeropoulos (Silver Swan) Adrienne C. Moore (Etta Candy), Courtenay Taylor (Dr. Poison), Mozhan Marnò (Dr. Cyber) as well as producer/co-director Sam Liu, co-director Justin Copeland, screenwriter Mairghread Scott, and executive James Tucker.
Despite being one of the most beloved characters in DC’s pantheon of heroes, Liu conceded that the general public isn’t as well acquainted with Wonder Woman’s supporting cast and her world compared to Batman and Superman and their respective homes in Gotham City and Metropolis. Thanks to the incredible success of the 2017 Gal Gadot Wonder Woman film, the filmmakers were afforded the opportunity to bring in her rogues gallery that comic fans have known about for years. Veronica Cale, a villainess businesswoman created by writer Greg Rucka as a Lex Luthor for Diana, is featured in the film voiced by Constance Zimmer and described by Tucker as one of the best Wonder Woman villains in the last twenty years. Nevertheless, diehard fans shouldn’t hold their breath to see Angle Man or Blue Snowman in a future movie anytime soon.
One villain who makes her animated debut in Bloodlines is the cybernetic Silver Swan. As you can imagine, most of Silver Swan’s battles take place in the air which Copeland felt were more challenging to choreograph than traditional combat on the ground. The key for co-director Liu was to tap into the emotional aspect of the fight. Without the context of knowing Diana’s relationship with Swan it may look like she’s a weak fighter when in fact her goal is less to hurt and defeat Swan than to try and save her.
Bloodlines happened to be the first animation voiceover role for both Marie Avgeropoulos and both Mozhan Marnò. Avgeropoulos is still blown away by the experience and felt a particular kinship with her character who goes through a Goth phase. She definitely had her own bold fashion choices in her youth, admitting she wore a dog collar in 9th grade. Conversely, Marnò had to approach voice acting differently than he on-camera work since she had to record alone and and required greater use of her imagination.
After the company wide reboot known as the New 52, Diana’s trusted companion Etta Candy, traditionally depicted as a white woman, is now a queer African-American. The importance of the role is not lost on actress Adrienne C. Moore. Between this and her work on the Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, it’s been a watershed moment working on projects that empower both women and minorities.
Rosario Dawson is no stranger to comic fandom and is an unabashed comic geek herself. Comics and Wonder Woman have always been an essential part of her life and considered a sacred text in her household. In fact, comic artist Gus Vaseuz is her uncle. Dawson said that her mother, whom she described as a 6′ tall Amazon from the Bronx, pass her love of Wonder Woman down to her daughter.
Courtenay Taylor, who revealed she had a somewhat difficult relationship with her own mother, was not prepared by how much the film would resonate with her and was taken back to her own childhood. She admitted while sitting to Dawson during the world premiere she was practically in tears.
During fan Q&A, the panelists were asked what Wonder Woman is able to teach. Writer Mairghred Scott answered that a person can be broken but still try to do the right thing, best illustrated by the arc of the character Silver Swan. Fittingly Avgeropoulos, the voice of Silver Swan, echoed a similar sentiment replying that it’s never too late for a person to have a moment of redemption. Moreover, Dawson emphasized the importance of connection and honesty through Wonder Woman and the film.
“WonderBat” fans, the portmanteau used to describe those who endorse a romantic relationship between Wonder Woman and Batman, will be be pleased to know that someone inquired about the possibility in the current DC Animated Movie Universe. Though it was neither confirmed nor denied, Tucker remarked that Wonder Woman is a thousand year old princess and Batman is a rich kid with issues. Scott noted that fans looking for a WonderBat team-up should definitely read, if they haven’t already, the Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia graphic novel by Greg Rucka and J.G. Jones.
One of the last questions came from a woman who watched the Bloodlines premiere with her 17-year old daughter and inquired who inspired the panelists when they were the same age. Moore said entertainer Diahann Carroll, who had just passed away same morning of the premiere, citing how the pioneering performer set the standard not only for women but women of color in the entertainment industry.
Dawson pointed to her grandmother who was the head secretary of the CIS Bank corporation and often said, “I may speak with an accent but I don’t think with one.” As an actress of Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban ancestry, Dawson noted that original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter paved the way for future Latin American actresses such as herself to take on such an iconic role.
For Taylor, Sigourney Weaver was a huge inspiration, specifically her role as Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise.
Closing out the Wonder Woman: Bloodlines panel, writer Mairghred Scott related her experience attending NYU as a freshman and feeling completely alone and isolated. That all changed one fateful Wednesday when she entered a comic store and discovered a copy of Wonder Woman #200 featuring that iconic J.G. Jones illustrated image of the Amazon warrior leaping over a taxi. DC Comics aficionados will recall that particular comic is an early issue in Greg Rucka’s acclaimed run with the character and those who have seen Bloodlines can definitely see the influence of Rucka’s run. That specific issue had a tremendous impact on Scott during a time she felt alone so Bloodlines is a gift to her teenage self.